At the Show

Like many folks, I spent most of my middle and high school years listening to punk music. Christian punk music, really. Most people grow out of this phase and get into hippie jam bands or classic rock in college, and then move on to country or pop or something as they mature. My musical tastes have matured, but I'm just not one to leave a musical genre behind, and so I still listen to punk and ska like when I was a kid. (The one exception to this is rap-rock...I've pretty much abandoned that short-lived phase of my life.)

And so when Slick Shoes, one of my high school favorites, announced that they were recording a live record nearby, I had to go. The problem was, only about two of my friends still listen to this stuff, and they live out of the state. So I had to go alone. Now, maybe this isn't really a big deal, but it's just more fun to go things with other people, you know? Even something like watching a movie -- where you don't talk to anyone for most of it -- is better with friends. But I went anyway, because this felt like a once in a lifetime thing.

Getting ready for the show, my CD snapped in half. This is my favorite one from the band too... (yes, I still listen to CDs)

The hour-long drive wasn't very fun, sitting in traffic, feeling like a weird old dude going to a punk show. I thought a lot about what I was doing, and if it was worth sharing in a blog post or video (I guess it was, because here we are). I think during that introspective drive I felt that doing things like this is a big part of what I claim as my identity. This whole "Skater Dad," music-making and the such really sums up this blog -- pursing passions in parenting. Even though my free time is cut significantly, the things that made me feel more alive before kids don't necessarily have to change. And so to the punk show I went.

The great thing about shows is that it is easy to make friends. I met a fellow writer, as well as a frequent punk-show-goer who told us several times that punk was "in her soul." I also had a conversation with a guy who was in town from Texas for a Power Rangers convention (I had no idea there was enough content there to even have a convention, but it's been around since 2007). Ultimately, it was far less lonely than I expected, and I was surprised to find how many people go to shows without a companion.

Slick Shoes, still good after all these years.

The best part was that I saw tons of families there with their kids! One dad had his son with a killer spiked mohawk, and one of the opening acts even had his infant at the merchandise table (all had ear protection, of course). I had considered bringing Ellie to the show (her first was Family First 5 as an infant), but wasn't sure if the punk scene would be good for her. Then again, it's Christian punk, so people are pretty nice to each other. After seeing all those other kids though, I think I may take her to the next one.

All in all, I'm so glad I went, and I wanted to write this to challenge you to not be afraid to do something that makes you uncomfortable, even if it was something you were into when you were younger. It felt silly screaming the lyrics to a band I loved fifteen years ago, getting sweaty dancing in the pit, but I was with a bunch of other sweaty 20-30 year-olds doing the same thing, so it felt a little less silly and more like fun.